A wooden, tiki thatched bungalow virtually floating above shallow, glassy, turquoise waters; an unobstructed view across the ocean, as if it’s your own private pool: for many people, such an image represents the epitome of luxury and relaxation, the very best means of making the most of a remote tropical island destination.
When one dreams of this type of holiday experience places like Bora Bora in the South Pacific usually come to mind. The Maldives and Fiji have also staked their place as vacation sites of choice for the overwater bungalow experience.
The Bahamas and the Caribbean at large have, by contrast, focused on more traditional U.S.-style resort development. On-land resorts like the all-inclusive Sandals, located in Nassau and Exuma, or Atlantis, with its family-friendly ambiance, cater to those seeking luxury, beachfront holidays – and do it well.
Those who seek something more private, low key or exclusive in The Bahamas have traditionally rented cottages or apartments in the Out Islands, or brought their own accommodation – coming by yacht to anchor off some of the world’s most exquisite shorelines in places like Exuma, the Abaco islands and Eleuthera.
But that may all be about to change. Several developers including Leaf Cay and February Point in The Exuma Cays have pitched plans to construct overwater bungalows in The Bahamas to the government. While some have expressed concerns about the environmental impact or possible damage that would result from the fairly frequent hurricanes that barrel through the island chain from time to time, many feel that the risks can be mitigated and the rewards would be well worth it – for investors, visitors and the economy alike.
Less than 45 minutes off the coast of Florida and two and a half hours from New York City, The Bahamas has one distinct advantage over Bora Bora, the Maldives, and Fiji as a potential location for overwater bungalow vacations: proximity to the U.S and hence, shorter flying times. Combine this attribute with its equally shallow, sparkling waters and remote island getaways and some say overwater bungalows represent the tip of a new tourism “influx” for the Bahamian archipelago.
Look out for Bahamas Waterfront Properties’ future blog post on the Top 5 places in The Bahamas to Build Overwater Bungalows.